Travel responsibly and sustainably


Little houses in the Îles de la Madeleine

It's no simple task to allow yourself to be loved. Oh, love. There's much mulling around to be done only to realize how little we really own - a rusty suit of armour that's begging to reach out and crack and let the light get in. It is so beautiful out there!

Last Christmas, my older brother wrote to me, saying how he wished we'd be closer, geographically speaking. How nice it would be for the whole extended family to be within reach, to meet up easily, whenever we feel like it. Oddly enough, moving to the Magdalen Islands brought me closer to them. Something to do with feeling better about where I stand, which led to being better with everyone. Being away also makes me go the extra mile, an attempt at fooling the distance. On the phone with mom, with dad, I say “I love you” more often.

Family-wise, I've gained more than I could've hoped

After Christmas, came New Year's Eve.

On the Islands, the year starts in Bassin, at Éric and Sylvie's, where I was welcomed like family, like royalty, like a long-awaited piece of the puzzle. There's so much about Éric that makes me beam with admiration, down to the way he fills up our glasses. Everything about him rings true, which lives up to his Sylvie, who grew up in Havre-aux-Maisons, and who smiles with her eyes. With eyes like hers, it's Christmas every day. That's what they chose to invest in, right here. And to see it happen, if you're still on the mainland, you better rise and shine and plan ahead.

Comforting meal with friends
Tomato jars
Sunset in the Îles de la Madeleine
Heavy cream and strawberry jam : the perfect combination!

A friend from the mainland asked me: “Are people really that much more authentic and welcoming in the countryside?”

As the newcomer I was once was, I felt it right away. I remember going downtown, to Cap-aux-Meules, making myself small, trying not to bother anyone. Marlène and Patrice greeted me with these same Christmas eyes, giving me their version of that same warm welcome. They probably wouldn't have put it this way, but they were taking care of me. That's how it felt.


During the last big blackout, a few weeks ago, Suzanne from Pointe-Basse made a point of reminding me once again that there's room for me at her place, no problem, anytime, and France from La Montagne asked if everything was okay, if I needed a shower, something to eat. I ended up dropping off my bags at MC's for a night, in Havre-Aubert.

I'm looking at Gislaine and Céline. They also came to Éric's to ring in the New Year, all the way from their little house hidden away somewhere around L'Étang des Caps. I make it all the way there on some afternoons, always welcomed to warm up by the fireplace, stay for a cup of coffee, and then a bit more for a game of Mitts.

Sometimes I stop and look at myself go: lucky beyond measure, having to find new ways to take in that new kind of love, figuring out how to properly give it back, within my heart's means. I'm hoping to learn, at the very least, how to let that newfound family know just how much I love them, no distance needed.

Par Benjamin Pradet

I was born and raised in Saint-Roch-des-Aulnaies and then lived in Montreal for a long time. I came to the Magdalen Islands thinking that I'd try it for a year, during which I found only good reasons to stay, and no reason to leave. Since then, I write my little words, I pace the Chemin des Arpenteurs, and I let life take its course.

Vos commentaires

« Back

x I Care For
Les Îles de la Madeleine
It is strongly suggested to have your accommodation confirmation as well as a travel solution at your destination before booking your transportation to the Îles de la Madeleine.
Select travel and accommodation